Letters to the Editor: Israeli-Americans, Hussein Aboubakr Mansour and Pamela Geller

May 21, 2015

How Jewish Are They?

There is one question not addressed in the article (“The Israeli-Americans: Who They Are, What They Want, Where They’re Headed, Why They Matter, May 15): How Jewish are they? I didn’t read anything (perhaps I read too fast) about celebrating Jewish holidays, about studying Jewish sources. Without that anchor, their kids will intermarry and they will be lost.

Chaiya Eitan via jewishjournal.com

Concerning an Arab Perspective

The Jewish Journal is to be congratulated for printing “That the World May Not End” (May 8) by Hussein Aboubakr Mansour, concerning “radical” Islam’s attack on the world. Alas, this 25-year-old Egyptian understands the issues far better than Presidents Bush and Obama, Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry, and the editor-in-chief of the Journal — whose main concern is the “hateful,” “Islamophobic” and thoroughly evil Pamela Geller, and not those who would joyfully have slaughtered her and anyone else who dared to attend the Muhammad cartoon event.

Chaim Sisman, Los Angeles


Hussein Aboubakr Mansour was thought provoking in his May 8 article on radical Islam.

To paraphrase him, free speech should not apply to religious intolerance. In modern society, free speech does not work when the speech generates violence against those who do not adhere to your beliefs or incites your adherents to commit crimes against humanity.

He goes on to say, therefore, shouldn’t we criminalize radical Islam? He continues: As a modern society we are mature enough to decide which ideas are not worthy of protection. We should be able to choose which ideas should be eliminated. We should agree to deprive people of the right to be religious maniacs. We should prohibit what we know to be evil moral views. Saudi-sponsored Shariah schools should be outlawed. Outlaw the teaching of hate and intolerance.

I thought our laws already covered hate speech and speech that incites violence? Why don’t we enforce those laws against religious groups?

David Rothman, Encino

The Elder Statesman-Thinker

Rob Eshman’s interview with Amos Oz is a breath of fresh air in a polluted atmosphere (“Love and Criticism: An Amos Oz Interview,” May 15). Oz is a creative, original thinker whose point of view should be heard, and perhaps even contribute to, the necessary peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Rick Edelstein, Los Angeles

Disrespecting Those With Special Needs

Because I am very active in the L.A. Orthodox community and have two adopted sons with autism, I am particularly outraged (“Tough Love for Israel: Outrage in Rehovot,” May 15). Both of my sons had a bar mitzvah in Orthodox shuls, and both were treated with unquestionable respect by our community. Shame, shame, shame on those so enslaved by self-righteousness that they are blind to the love of Judaism by others.

Geborah Goldberger via jewishjournal.com


I attended another one of the Masorti  movement’s bar/bat mitzvah celebrations for children with special needs (this one in Jerusalem), the same day the one in Rehovot was supposed to take place. It was a beautiful, emotional, inspiring event for everyone involved — the kids, their families, teachers and friends. How ironic that Arab teachers attended the event, which took place at Jerusalem’s Kehilat Moreshet Avraham, a Conservative synagogue, but some fellow Jews would not.

Sheryl Abbey via jewishjournal.com

Attacking an Anti-Muslim Polemicist

Rob Eshman is no Pamela Geller. She held a Muhammad cartoon contest in a private venue, perfectly legal.

Muslim terrorists were offended and tried to murder her and all the people present. They did not respect our freedom of speech.

When Nazis marched with anti-Semitic cartoons and posters in Skokie, Ill., the Holocaust survivors there and Jews everywhere were offended. They did not go with machine guns to murder the Nazi sympathizers and marchers. The Holocaust survivors respected freedom of speech.

Appeasing Islamist radicals is not possible. They look on our attempts to “understand and not provoke” as weakness. We than embolden them to increase such acts. Please read the main article in that issue by Hussein Mansour, a Muslim. He knows it will take generations for them to change, if possible. We must not change our democratic freedoms to try to placate them.

Selma Alpert via email

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